Background

Laboratory animal based research in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) was first set up in 1986 in line with the establishment of animal research facility known as the Animal House Unit. In the beginning the unit was managed by the Pharmacology Department, School of Medicine in Penang. However, in Jun 1990, four years later, the Animal House Unit was moved to Health Campus in Kubang Kerian following the relocation of the School of Medicine to Health Campus. Nevertheless, the animal based research and teaching activities in USM Penang continued its activity in a building build in 1995 known as Animal House. The management of the Animal House Penang was divided between two school which were the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

In order to enhanced the management of the Animal House Unit in Health Campus, its management has been put under the Office of the Director and was given the autonomy to handle its own expenditure with its own budget in the middle of 2005. Later, corresponding to the ongoing development, the unit changed its name to Laboratory Animal Research Unit (LARUSM), Universiti Sains Malaysia.

In accordance with USM's APEX university recognition status along with the increase of quality animal based research and teaching facilities requisite, the main campus Animal House have been upgraded and coordinated to Animal Research and Wellness Unit (ARWU) took place on 15 Jun 2009 and the administration was taken over by the Research Creativity Management Office. The shift in administration was done to ensure that the management of Animal Research and Wellness Unit (ARWU) can run smoothly.

In continuation to the LARUSM and ARWU management coordination, maintenance and up grading, RCMO has proposed the establishment of a support services centre. These proposals was put forward to ensure comprehensive support services in the field of animal based research and teaching can be coordinated better, orderly and efficiently under one management. The establishment of this centre was proposed on August 25, 2010 during the 48th meeting between the Vice Chancellor Executive Committee and the Health Campus Director Executive Committee and was approved by Prof. Tan Sri Dato' Dzulkifli Abdul Razak (Vice Chancellor). Animal Research And Service Centre (ARASC) was officially established on January 1, 2011. It is administrated by a director who is assisted by deputy directors in each Main Campus and Health Campus.

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